Hawaii: that's not why she loved roger rabbit in the original story!
Iris: why did she love him in the original story?
Hawaii: he wished she would on a magic teapot
Hawaii: the kind with a genie in it!
Iris: that seems a bit out of character...
Iris: hold on, what "original story" are we even talking about here?
Hawaii: the original book! that the movie was based on
Iris: i see. in what other ways does the film version depart from the original?
Hawaii: well, they added bugs bunny... daffy duck... mickey mouse...
Hawaii: judge doom...
Iris: judge doom's not in the book?
Iris: who's the villain, then?
Hawaii: the genie!
Iris: the genie who lives in a teapot?
Hawaii: the genie is only revealed at the very end, though!
Iris: what does the genie do?
Hawaii: kills roger
Hawaii: with a gun
Iris: so, the book is about roger rabbit having random adventures, and then at the end he gets shot by a genie that comes out of a teapot?
Hawaii: no, he gets shot at the beginning
Iris: and, what, he just dies really slowly?
Hawaii: pretty much.
Amy: what's to stop a burglar from walking off with all your stuff?
Iris: common sense? the fact that i'm always home? well-founded paranoia about the windows being sealed up yet the door being unlocked?
Amy: you think that's going to stop someone who needs money to buy crack?
Iris: sure, crack addicts are hella paranoid
Amy: let's say a burglar just walks into your house one day, what do you do? hope he gets paranoid and leaves?
Iris: well, it depends. what am i doing at the time? if i'm listening to music or something, that could set up any number of weird contexts that i'd have to take on a case-by-case basis.
Amy: let's say you're asleep in bed and you wake up to the sound of a burglar opening the door
Iris: too easy
Amy: he's sneaking into your house, clearly not with friendly intentions...
Iris: who is this guy? i google his face
Amy: he's wearing a hoodie and his mouth and nose are covered by a scarf
Iris: unless he's designer, all i need are the eyes, but fine, i add his clothes and his gait and sort by location
Amy: his clothes have no distinguishing marks, he sprained his ankle yesterday running from an angry wino he mugged, and he's got sunglasses on
Iris: bear in mind my house is pitch dark aside from the active 3D video scan
Amy: they're AR
Iris: any burglar this savvy would open the door an inch, recognize the strobe pattern as active 3D and shut it again and get the hell out of there
Amy: apparently not, because he's in your house. what do you do?
Iris: i stumble out of bed totally naked, with my eyes closed, and say "what time is it? i feel like i've been sleeping since terrr..r...."
Iris: i trail off like I'm talking in my sleep
Amy: he says "it's three o'clock in the morning. go back to bed"
Iris: i google his voice
Amy: fine, you get his crappy facebook account and such. there's nothing of particular note.
Iris: what's his name?
Amy: kevin buggs
Iris: i open my eyes, which are completely white because i use opaque contacts, move my voice inside his head, and say "Hello Kevin."
Amy: he pees his pants in terror. happy?
Iris: it just seems inherently ridiculous to me
Iris: even shitty "tall tales" like paul bunyan at least have some sort of visual logic to them
Iris: you can vaguely picture someone digging the grand canyon by dragging his axe, or sneezing out the great lakes or whatever
Iris: in contrast, why make a girl out of a rib?
Mary: Why make the space sphere orbit Wheatley? You get it, but would someone who spoke Aramaic?
Iris: so, what, then? should i look up "rib" in the etymology dictionary?
Mary: No, "Eve".
Iris: lifelong experiencers of the paranormal who try to write about their experiences typically frame them as a developing story, but it inevitably breaks down
Iris: they say things like "i know this sounds like bullshit" or "i have no explanation for..." or "this will probably destroy what's left of my credibility" and the things they report don't add up to a halfway decent story in the end, they're just streams of directionless implausible nonsense
Iris: and it's peculiar, because if these people were clever fakes, it seems like they would tell stories that were more... punchy, somehow, more story-like or scarier or SOMETHING
Iris: it's like how in Who Censored Roger Rabbit? there are cartoon characters everywhere, but then on top of that there's a magical genie. in good storytelling, you're only allowed one conceit of that nature
Iris: when you stick in space aliens AND magical elves AND prophetic dreams, all happening to the same person, it makes the narrative feel sloppy
Iris: these people are clearly capable of telling a good story, yet much to their frustration they INEVITABLY descend into this, because they feel they have a duty to relate what happens to them regardless of how little sense it makes
Amy: all people live in a fantasy in which they are the main character
Iris: actually, that's been on the fritz for me lately
Iris: there are four of us, but i couldn't remember who the fourth one was
Iris: it stumped me for about 45 seconds
Iris: eventually i realized it was me
Iris: it's not that unusual a mental glitch, but this is easily the longest i've had it for, and when the realization came, it had a totally different character to it, normally it's just "oh, it's me, doy"
Iris: this time it was like "ohhh, THAT guy! hey, he's great!"
Iris: what does P = NP mean?
Mary: "Though the universe's mysteries appear deep, their depth is an illusion. The world is nothing but a toy based on a magic trick."
Iris: like the infinite light vortex?
Iris: what's the big deal about it? i thought it was something to do with maths and computers
Mary: If P = NP, there's a trick by which you can factor 55006097 as easily as you can multiply 4133 and 13309.
Mary: More generally, you could prove any mathematical conjecture as easily as you could check the logic of such a proof were the proof to already exist.
Iris: okay, slightly troubling
Mary: There'd be a trick that would make you as clever as anything you could understand, as talented as anything you could appreciate, as funny as—
Iris: okay, sarcasm withdrawn
Iris: what do P and NP stand for?
Mary: P and NP are computational complexity classes.
Mary: P stands for "polynomial time". It's the class of problems whose solutions require a computation with a length that has a polynomial ratio to the size of the input.
Iris: like, if sudoku puzzles take a computer X3 steps to solve, maximum, that's polynomial time?
Iris: where X is the size of the grid or whatever
Mary: Yes. Whereas if the most efficient solution sometimes takes 3X steps, that's "exponential time".
Iris: ok, seems simple enough...
Mary: Computational complexity theorists have yet to establish whether Sudoku can be solved in polynomial time or not. As with many puzzles, they do know it belongs to a class of problems whose solutions can be verified in polynomial time.
Mary: Additionally, they know that if it CAN be solved in polynomial time, everything else in the class can as well.
Iris: what's the sudoku class called?
Iris: i'm starting to get a creepy feeling
Iris: i assume the maxcut problem is also in NP
Mary: Yes. Like Sudoku, it's "NP-complete". If it's solvable in polynomial time...
Iris: ...then P = NP
Iris: that explains grant's obsession with that algorithm
Iris: christ, i feel unclean for having worked on it with him
Iris: it's like helping a friend of a friend look for their car based on a verbal description with subtly suspicious holes, eventually giving up, then later realizing what car you were looking for
Iris: while watching Back to the Future
Iris: in retrospect, it's obvious ben has known all along that grant's algorithm can't work, and has politely omitted that detail every time he's talked about it
Iris: "Ah yes, Grant is obsessed with cars. He often asks me to help him find his car in the car park."
Iris: never actually suggesting that i help grant with his algorithm, just letting the idea sit quietly on the table like a vase of wilted poppies...
Iris: i assume the university types are busy proving P doesn't equal NP?
Iris: how long have they been at it?
Mary: 40 years.
Iris: why is it taking so long?
Iris: and don't say "I don't know", because that's the scariest thing i can imagine you saying
Mary: About this, or anything?
Mary: Were you always afraid, before you met me?
Iris: no! because i didn't hang out with hp lovecraft's robot mindfuck squad all day!
Hawaii: can i be in hp lovecraft's robot mindfuck squad?
Iris: YOU ARE HP LOVECRAFT'S ROBOT MINDFUCK SQUAD! I SHOULD PROBABLY STOP SCREAMING "MINDFUCK" AT AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD!
Iris: it's a conspiracy
Iris: of ravens
Watkins: You're a conspiracy of ravens.
Iris: covering the sky
Iris: and your sanity is a flower that's... wilting... in the shifting shadows of…
Watkins: See, how can I trust you when you say stuff like that?
Iris: what's another word for "black"?
Iris: ...my midnight wings... ...no, that's terrible, where was i...
Iris: oh—but yeah... if my retarded mind games get to you, you shouldn't even talk to her, seriously
Watkins: What is Mary, if you're a conspiracy of ravens covering the world in shadows?
Iris: a black hole eating the sun
Watkins: The way you describe her makes me want to meet her, to see what kind of person could get that reaction from you.
Watkins: Assuming she's not just you, which she probably is.
Iris: It must be quite a burden, always being the smartest one in the room.
Mary: You have no idea.
Mary: It sounds like a joke to you, because whenever you need help or advice or someone to bounce ideas off, there I am. And if I make you feel dumb, you can ignore me.
Mary: Who do you I think I call when a problem is too big for me?
Mary: There isn't anyone.
Mary: I look up, and all I see is the icy blackness of space. Nobody is in charge; nobody's wisdom is there between me and the abyss. And it's always like that, I can't turn it off.
Mary: If I found someone who made me feel stupid, I would be ecstatic. I would feel like a child who was lost in the woods for as long as she could remember finally seeing the lights of home.
Iris: [via text] can you talk on aim?
Iris: [via text] i just had a weird nightmare
Amy: [via text] sorry
Amy: [via text] i was at work :(
Iris: that's ok
Amy: sorry, i was at work :(
Amy: i'm home home
Iris: you just texted me/
Amy: yeah, that was me
Iris: i wasn't asking, that was a mistyped period
Iris: i'm typing into the wall of the shower
Amy: is that safe?
Iris: yeah, what's unsafe is typing straight down
Iris: you never know when there might be lava beneath you
Amy: i guess i mean, are google glasses waterproof?
Amy: even if they electrocuted you it'd be no worse than putting your tongue on a battery, i suppose
Iris: i don't have glasses
Amy: you don't?
Amy: contacts. sorry, i'm slow.
Amy: you better tell me your dream before my stupidity distracts you to the point of forgetting it, assuming it hasn't already done that...
Amy: (if you want to)
Iris: there was a storm, and i went for a walk in it
Iris: storms are basically the only time i take walks anymore
Iris: there was lightning and it rained off and on, so i had my umbrella
Iris: and i decided to just walk in one direction
Iris: pretty soon i found myself in an area i hadn't been before, there was a fountain, a block of flats
Iris: then a hill down, and then i ran into a T intersection
Iris: but, there was an odd driveway-like path leading into the woods
Iris: i say driveway-like because there was a curb in front of it
Iris: so it clearly wasn't an actual driveway
Iris: and i walked down it, and it sloped downwards, with woods on one side and a yard and a big house a ways on the other, and then it just sort of...... petered out
Iris: it was dark enough that i couldn't really see it
Iris: the dream wasn't in color except occasionally when the lightning flashed, or rather—you get it.
Iris: so i went on anyway, and said to myself "is this somebody's YARD?"
Iris: there was grass, then, at the edge of the woods, a sort of cobblestone path with very poor footing
Iris: and this lead to another area of grass, and then more cobblestones... and i kept expecting this to lead to a backyard or something
Iris: but instead the path just got narrower and after a while it was simply a path through the woods
Iris: which i could only just see
Iris: it was a perfectly good path, but the light was very dim
Iris: it's good i had my umbrella to push through the wet leaves
Iris: and it was strange, because it just kept going
Iris: finally i emerged from the woods into a huge carpeted room, with a ceiling like a warehouse
Amy: what do you mean
Iris: there was no door or anything, i came out of the woods and i was in the room
Amy: i mean, that it kept going
[Iris is typing "the woods were retroactively inside the room in their entirety, even though"]
Iris: it's rare for me to have a dream where one thing goes on consistently for that length of time, it felt like several minutes of just pushing through the woods, with no interruption aside from the occasional lightning and thunder
Amy: would you say it was vivid?
[Iris is typing "anyway, in the huge room i encountered three "tallstalkers", which were robots,"]
[she cuts the text to the clipboard]
Iris: it was more vivid than normal, but i've had other dreams that were comparable
Iris: it had a weird aspect to it though, not exactly vividness, but solidness, like even though it wasn't super detailed, it was in focus in an unusual way
Amy: like, it was meaning-laden?
Iris: not particularly
Iris: it was just there, you could look directly at it and feel it and so on and it didn't distort into something else
Iris: it seemed more meaningful than usual, but only in contrast to my normal dreams, which are full of incomprehensible idiocy
Iris: anyway, in the huge room i encountered three "tallstalkers", which were robots, or people disguised as robots
Iris: one tall stalk of gray accordion...... or dryer tube ish.........
Iris: and at the top, a cheap-looking one-eyed snakelike robot head, like gypsy from mystery science theater, roughly
Iris: they talked to me, and the gist of it was that they worked for mary, they were like cerebrates
Iris: mary was still a human being, mind you, or i conceived of her as such, she wasn't in the dream
Iris: but so, she could talk to me through the tallstalkers, and thus talk to me in the dream (which i was aware at that point that it was, though i couldn't remember how dreams work, as is often the case)
Amy: what did she say?
Iris: i did most of the talking, i was explaining to her about the forest part of the dream
Iris: part of why i remember dreams so well is i frequently end up retelling them inside themselves before they're even over... the downside is that standing still and talking typically causes the dream to lose coherency, and then i wake up, which is what happened in this one
Amy: what was nightmarish about it, just the vividness of the path in the woods?
Amy: or the solidness, rather?
Iris: no, the real nightmare has yet to begin
Iris: this was a false awakening, see
Iris: which was followed by a ton more false awakenings
Iris: they took place in a room which was the size of my childhood room in the underground house, but which was painted white and had a door in the wrong place and a window
Iris: the window went almost from floor to ceiling, like the one here, and looked out onto utter blackness
Iris: and in the blackness was floating a blue orb
Iris: finally i stopped trying to wake up and went for the blue orb, and as i reached the window i woke up for real
Amy: that's terrifying
Amy: i probably would've assumed i was trapped in endless false awakenings with no way to get away from the orb and panicked
Iris: a few minutes after waking up, i was still thinking about the blue orb, and suddenly
Iris: i realized
Iris: there was no blue orb
Amy: you're making me cry!
Iris: out of compassion?
Amy: no, out of fear!
Amy: and anger at your dumb story! >:(
Amy: is that the end?
Iris: no, and i should warn you this is still a false awakening
Amy: i had a suspicion to that effect...
Iris: what happened was, i actually had the false awakenings sans blue orb, and then i "woke up" and thought about what had happened in them and somehow misremembered there being a blue orb out the window
Iris: then realized there hadn't been, just darkness
Amy: got it
Amy: that would scare the shit out of me
Amy: because i can't trust my own memory, and because i would feel like i had no control
Amy: floating orbs scare me
Amy: for no reason...
Iris: what deeply disturbed me wasn't the orb, it was that the orb had invaded my memory of the dream
Amy: that's exactly it, actually...
Iris: although "deeply disturbed" is misleading, because it makes it sound too localized
Iris: my first impulse was to say "greatly disturbed", but i changed it because it was an unusual phrase
Iris: so, then i'm imagining a boy and girl lying in bed
Iris: young adults but somehow very innocent seeming
Iris: and the boy has a blue orb hovering above his head
Iris: (sideways, out into space past the end of the bed)
Amy: where his seventh chakra would be
[iris is typing "and the orb has a key in it"]
[she cuts it to the clipboard]
Iris: right, exactly
Iris: and the orb has a key in it
Iris: and i'm the boy
Iris: and my head feels strange
Iris: a creepy feeling
Iris: and i'm hearing a strange sound
Iris: like music, but only semi-harmonious
Iris: a lot of notes played together in bursts
Iris: the timbre is reminiscent of the backward notes in Copies of Copies from the Primer soundtrack
Iris: there is a real blue orb in this house but it's locked in a closet
Amy: of course
Iris: this smaller dream, with the false memories and the boy and girl and the orb and the creepy feeling in my head is scary enough that i'd say it counts as a nightmare, but it's just the prologue to the real nightmare
Iris: which i've finally worked my way around to after giving an unnecessary amount of context, as usual
Amy: no, i'm sorry for being pissed off :(
Amy: i'm probably not the best person to tell a scary dream to, because i get so scared i get mad at you, like "why are you telling me this scary story! shut up!"
Iris: yeah, but none of my other friends would be scared at all, so they're completely useless in this situation
Amy: probably still better than me...
Iris: talking to you really helps, amy
Amy: thanks. sorry it doesn't help more
Iris: the point of empathy is that i can use you as a fear sponge and then discard you and go back to bed
Amy: good luck with that, now that i know you're DELIBERATELY TRYING TO SCARE ME!
Iris: i'm just stalling because i don't want to talk about this part
Amy: will it scare me?
Iris: yeah, but it's more that it's uncomfortable to talk about
Amy: i see
Iris: because there's a semi-sexual component to it
Iris: actually, an extremely sexual component
Amy: i see
Iris: on further consideration it's only semi-sexual
Amy: well, i appreciate the warning
Iris: actually, it's not sexual at all
Iris: ORRRR IS IT? sorry, now i really am stalling
Amy: at this point i'm too jaded to you playing with my emotions to be scared, but get on with it and i'll try to be nice
Iris: there's a bit here i don't remember, either i went into a non-dreaming sleep phase or i woke up and then went back to sleep
Iris: but either way, the nightmare is essentially a separate dream
Iris: i'm pregnant, and my water just broke, and i can't tell anybody because they all think i'm a boy
Iris: and i guess they wouldn't believe me anyway, at this point
Iris: i'm wandering around through the typical heterogeneous architecture i have in dreams, which is weirdly similar to the way things look in REAL LIFE, despite my dreams being this way long before i had played it
Iris: as usual, i'm not exactly lost so much as i have no destination, but in this case rather than being nonplussed or distracted, i'm paying more attention to the world around me, because i'm absolutely terrified.
Iris: and as always happens when i pay attention to the architecture in a dream, it expands and becomes more complex; if i hadn't studied it in detail, this line up on the wall would be a crown molding, but because i turn my attention to it, it's a balcony, and the wall is a hundred times as far away
Iris: that's not a real example, and it's usually not that severe, but that's how it works, and it also applies to the amount of time i spend looking at something, or spend walking around in a place
Iris: i've never successfully walked around a building in a dream; by the time i get to the fourth side, it's too large and i have to go through
Iris: and then i never get out, because the rooms get bigger and bigger and the entire rest of the dream ends up taking place indoors
Iris: but this dream started indoors anyway, and it soon went from odd little storerooms and hallways to purposeless but moderately large rooms with complex multi-leveled floors and unremarkable drop-ceilings, to grocery store, mall, imax theater, international airport, and then into spaces that can't be meaningfully compared with real ones, with undefined dimensions and incoherent shapes
Iris: bottomless bookstores or libraries, theaters with unbounded chasms separating the stage and the seats, horizonless furniture showrooms, ruins of octahedral cineplexes with their own gravity... in this case it was mostly spaces that were hard to name, that gave you an uncomfortable feeling like you were in the wrong place, or an employees-only part of a building, or something under construction
Iris: the absurdity of this eventually put the terror in check, and i decided "fuck it, i'll call mary, at least i can yell at her when she fails to magically solve my problem with her intolerable brilliance"
Iris: i zoomed out and found the nearest bed, which was up a couple stairs, randomly stuck in a ruined/half-built corner of a gray structure near the end of a long, broad, curved ledge or balcony, basically a floor without walls
Iris: it was well-lit (from nowhere), but bordered by a black void
Iris: it wasn't a place with a name, like "mezzanine" or "bedroom", it had the flavor of a leftover corner of a forgotten side of the exterior of an unused set, still indoors but not well-defined enough to be indoors inside anything in particular
Iris: the google map data for it was very poor and had weird discontinuities, like the coast of greenland used to, and i realized i was dreaming
Iris: but in my mind, i was equally pregnant in real life, and waking up and experiencing the terror i just went through without the anesthetizingly surreal dreamscape wasn't very tempting
Iris: so i just sat in the bed
Iris: i remembered that i wanted to call mary, but i no longer had my phone
Iris: and then a tallstalker rose up from the abyss
Iris: and it spoke in mary's voice, and said "Iris, you are the smartest of all my friends and subminds. You have nothing to fear."
Iris: and i said "no, it's going to hurt!"
Iris: and she said "It only hurts when we give birth to men. We weren't designed to. That kind of childbirth is a punishment from God."
Amy: not true, girls hurt just as much
Iris: that's what i said
Iris: and mary said "When the Bible uses the word 'men', it can mean two different things."
Amy: NOOOOOOOOOOO :((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((
Iris: the next part is gross and i don't want to talk about it
[iris pauses absently]
[she switches songs a few times in winamp, settling on Goldfrapp - Twist]
[again she seems lost in thought for a while]
Iris: i felt something moving and i started to give birth, before i could prepare myself
Iris: it didn't hurt, but i wished it did
Iris: i closed my eyes, but i could still feel it, like the path in the woods
[iris is typing "and when"]
[she hesitates, with her hands off the keyboard, as though afraid of it, though her face shows nothing]
[she resumes typing]
Iris: and when i woke up, i had an extra pillow
Amy: I FUCKING HATE YOU IRIS [signs off]
[iris is grinning, her hands still on the keyboard]